Former prime minister John Howard has called the ACT Government’s forced takeover of the Catholic-run Calvary Public Hospital Bruce the greatest assault on the principle of private ownership he has seen in Australia. Source: The Weekend Australian.
Mr Howard also attacked the current prime minister, Anthony Albanese, for backing the compulsory acquisition of the hospital with special legislation and no declared compensation for the building and the remaining 46-year lease.
Speaking on the Gold Coast at the launch of the book Dignity and Prosperity: The Future of Liberal Australia, Mr Howard said he was often criticised for “banging on about the principles of freedom being attacked”.
“Well, they are very seriously under attack right now in the ACT,” he said.
“This attempt from the ACT government to grab this hospital from the Catholic Church, the Calvary hospital, is about as a blatant assault on the principle of private property I have seen in many, many years.”
Religious leaders fear the move will create a precedent for the forced takeover of other religious-run services.
Mr Howard said Mr Albanese lacked the “courage to call out what the ACT Government is doing”.
He said anyone who has anything to do with health services in Australia would know what a wonderful contribution Catholic health services have provided over the years.
“What does Mr Albanese say? Well, that he can’t see any problem in the future.
“Well, I can see a problem in the present.”
Former PM John Howard accuses ACT Labor of ‘greatest assault’ on private ownership (By Dennis Shanahan, The Australian)